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The first Aboriginal woman elevated to sainthood, Kateri Tekakwitha was born in 1656 on the shores of the Mohawk River in New York state. When she was 4, a smallpox epidemic took her whole family, leaving her with weak vision and a scarred face. She was raised by her aunt and her uncle, who was a Mohawk chief.

After the epidemic, her community moved across the river to Caughnawaga, where she met Jesuit missionaries. She suffered greatly from persecution by her family and members of the tribe, who were against the conversion to Christianity of native peoples. In 1676, she was baptised “Catherine,” or “Kateri” in Mohawk. The next year, fearing for her safety, she fled to the Saint Francis Xavier de La Prairie mission. She had help from the Jesuit missionaries, who sent her with a note describing her great devotion to God and identifying her as “the precious Kateri Tekakwitha.” The mission’s church practically became her home. A pious soul, she fasted and prayed for her people to accept the Good News. She died three years later, in 1680, at the age of 24. Within a quarter of an hour, her face took on a startling beauty. Her intercession led to heavenly favours and miracles for Aboriginal people and colonists throughout New France.


The church and Kateri’s tomb

The museum where sacred vessels, prayer books, manuscripts and Aboriginal artifacts are on display

The presbytery, dating from 1720

Paintings, including those donated by Charles X of France

Wooden statues, including one of the infant Jesus, dating from the late 17th century


1 River Road, Kahnawake, QC  J0L 1B0
450 632-6030


Société historique et culturelle du Marigot


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Les lignes et couleurs forment une image moderne à laquelle l’eau confère un caractère dynamique et vivant. La croix s’intègre aux flots au même titre que les sanctuaires sont partie intégrante des rives du Saint-Laurent.
La croix, solide, identifie les sanctuaires et rappelle les premières croix de bois plantées en Amérique, témoins d’une histoire qui continue de s’écrire.
Les flots entourent la croix d’une façon telle qu’ils la rendent lumineuse et dominante tout en symbolisant le caractère spirituel des lieux.
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The lines and colours create a modern image, with water adding a dynamic and lively quality. The cross is integrated with the waves, just as the sanctuaries are integral to the shores of the St. Lawrence.
The solid cross represents the sanctuaries, bringing to mind the first wooden crosses carried to America, and bearing witness to an ongoing history.
The waves surround the cross, making it luminous and dominant, a combination that symbolizes the spiritual aspect of these places.

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Las líneas y los colores forman una imagen moderna a la que el agua le confiere un carácter dinámico y vivo. La cruz se integra al río de la misma manera que los santuarios forman parte de las orillas del Saint-Laurent.
La cruz, sólida, se identifica con los santuarios y nos recuerda las primeras cruces de madera plantadas en América, testigos de una historia que se sigue escribiendo.
El agua rodea la cruz de tal manera que la vuelve luminosa y dominante al mismo tiempo que simboliza el carácter espiritual del lugar.
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